Cops and Bobbers reels in fun
By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of DCSO Detention Specialist Dawn McClarnon
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) is constantly looking for ways to positively connect with the community. DCSO recently held a favorite community outreach event – Cops and Bobbers. Young Douglas County residents spent a Saturday morning fishing with DCSO officers and urban park rangers at Fly’n B Park in Highlands Ranch.
Twenty-one kids and 13 officers attended the mid-August event, enjoying a beautiful Colorado summer morning and getting to know one another. This event is a favorite of many officers, and it draws interest from all DCSO departments, bringing officers from across the sheriff’s office together with residents.
Children ages six to 14 were eligible to preregister and attend. Colorado Parks and Wildlife provided all necessary equipment, and kids were able to take rods home with them at the end of the event. Parents could also learn how to help their kids, so fishing can continue long after the experience has ended.
Officers and park rangers taught kids how to get started and how to reel in the fish they caught. All fishing was catch and release, so photos of smiling kids and slippery fish also went home.
Community Resources Deputy Brian McKnight said Cops and Bobbers is a “great community program.” It facilitates “fun interaction with the kids and allows kids to see officers as people as well as officers.”
In the five years that DCSO has sponsored the program, DCSO officers, including McKnight, have been able to foster positive relationships with kids who have had negative interaction with law enforcement in the past. Programs like Cops and Bobbers helps bridge gaps because it’s about “just being together and doing a fun activity.”